Monday, September 26, 2011

Ashlyn's Ear September 26, 2011

So Ashlyn saw the ear doctor today in Tampa for a follow-up/pre-op visit.  She also saw a plastic surgeon to talk about fixing her other ear that was not fully developed when she was born.  He said that he could fix it so that it looks like her other ear.  She had the hearing test before seeing the doctor and we got some really good news from that.  Her hearing has improved from 50 decibels (the last visit) all the way up to 18 decibels!  It’s almost the same as the other good ear!!!  There was something of concern though, her ear has formed an air pocket which is indicative of another cholesteatoma trying to form, but it just means there will be more to fix when he goes back in her ear in December.  He lifted the ear drum a little to make sure it looked good where the air pocket was.  She cried a little, but held still like a big girl.  He said it looked okay, and could be clean because we still flush it with the solution and blow dry it every time it gets wet.  We are going to schedule the surgery for December 22nd so that she doesn’t miss any school and will be mostly healed before coming back to school hopefully.  We are very excited about her hearing improvement though.

Here’s a funny little side note though:  The plastic surgeon said “Hello, how are you?” to Ashlyn and she responded.  Based on her response, he pulled his little light out and told Ashlyn to open up.  He looked in her mouth and said, oh, she has a submucous cleft palate.  This from someone who saw her for only a minute and hadn’t read her chart yet, whereas an ENT she saw for 6 months who performed a tonsillectomy, partial adenoidectomy, and tubes in her ears couldn’t diagnose her not only with the cholesteatoma that was poking through her ear drum and going towards her brain, but also the submucous cleft palate.  Jason was just amazed and asked how he knew, and he said just from the way she spoke and then for sure when he looked and saw.  Amazing!

Just wanted to let everyone know since some of you were following along through last year when she went through all of this.  She’s doing so well and hopefully with the tutoring and speech therapy we can get her caught up with all the other kids with language quicker than not.  I’m hopeful…look at how far God has brought our little girl so far in such a short amount of time.  It hasn’t even been two years yet.  November 23rd will be the 2nd anniversary of our Gotcha Day (the day we met Ashlyn for the first time).

Anyways, hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Saturday September 17, 2011 First Swim Meet of the School Year

So, the girls had their first swim meet for the school year.  It's hard to believe that Ashlyn only learned to swim almost three months ago.  She's still struggling with endurance and takes a little over a minute to swim one lap (25 meters).  But I am happy to say she wasn't the only one at the meet that struggled, so I found myself cheering on quite a few other little ones.  She was so excited that she didn't even care which place she got!  Kaylyn on the other hand was way too competitive again.  She was very good while on the summer swim team, but now that she's back with the school, it's all about winning again.  She's very good, but needs to work on not looking to see where the other swimmer's are and also not being afraid of hitting her head on the wall while doing the backstroke.  While she was in the lead, this caused her to slow down  and get third.  We're still very proud of her and we try to use constructive criticism with positiveness, but she gets upset.  I wish she had Ashlyn's happy go lucky attitude and not care what place she gets.  Kaylyn raced 2 medley races and 3 individual races, including an IM (all the strokes going 4 laps).  She was pretty tired at the end of the was Ashlyn since she did 2 individual and one relay.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Monday September 5, 2011 Blizzard Beach on Labor Day

The last day we did the last bead activity before checking out; Flamingo Activity.  The kids really liked getting the beads from these activities.  Then we headed over to Blizzard Beach to spend some time.  There wasn't much of a crowd and we did everything, except the two large slides by 1:00 pm, including the family ride twice, lazy river twice, the single float ride twice, and eating lunch.  So then we got ice cream/snow cones, got dressed, and headed for home.  It was a hot day and rain only entered for a few minutes and it only sprinkled.  It was nice to get home and the animals sure did miss us!


Sunday September 4, 2011 Animal Kingdom Lodge with Sprinkles

So we decided to take it easy on this day and hang out at the lodge.  We invited our friends the Sprinkles to join us.  There are two "houses" to go between at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and they both have their huge swimming pools with different slides and areas.  There were also some activities for the kids (almost as much as being on the Disney boat).  After each of these activities, the kids would earn a bead to put on their twine.  On this day we did four of the activities; Animal Tracking- where we used trackers to find a Mickey mouse doll that had a tracking device on, Animal Enrichment - where the kids made a wreath of leaves for the animals and the guides actually took them out and we got to see a giraffe and zebra eat ours, Music of the Savanna - they played drums and other instruments to represent water, plants, and animals, & Have You Hear? - an animal noise was played and we had to guess from which animal it came from...the finale was hard to distinguish between the leopard and the lion.  In between all of this, we swam, ate lunch, and walked around to see all the animals at the lodge. We also enjoyed the night vision of the animals (got to use night goggles after the sun went down).  We could see at least two giraffes and one small animal...I think it was a gazelle.  We also saw some fireflies, which I hadn't seen in awhile in Florida.  It was a very fun day spent with really good friends!